Summary: There is not a lot of advice out there if you get a stranger pregnant other than, "Get ready to get fucked for 18 years with child support." I slipped up once and had sex with a girl I had met one time previous. 13 days later she called me and told me she was pregnant. This is a simple story of what I did next. What's the next best thing you can do? (Italics are chapters from 48 Laws of Power). The laws in your state vary; so what happens in Indiana may not work in your state.
The First Conversation
My daughter's mom called me early in the morning to tell me she was pregnant. She asked me what she should do. This question is testing you in a lot of different ways. Are you going to freak out? Are you going to try to convince her to get an abortion? The correct answer is to say, in a calm and confident manner, for her to start taking prenatal vitamins. If you want an abortion you have weeks to talk about it. This is an easy question to knock out of the park. If she decides to have a child she can NEVER use against you that you wanted an abortion. When shit goes downhill she will throw you under the bus to everyone she knows. Give her as little ammunition as possible. Reason: You will need to maintain frame in a way that you've never had to for a length of time that seems impossible. When you know what she's saying is not true it makes it easier to suffer the slings and arrows. In my case I could tell immediately that abortion was not a live option and that I would be left in the dark for the next 9 months if I brought it up. But I should add that I would never abort a child as a form of birth control
Week 1 - Start saving 20% of your income for a safe new car. Well, that's what I told by daughter's mom. I told everyone that actually. It would have been great, but I knew then that it was unlikely. Really what I was doing is saving 20% of my income to see what child support was going to be like AND for attorney fee's. I spent every dime so far. Start saving immediately. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
On Child Support - That money is simply no longer yours. Do not argue about it or whine or try to get out of it. She might even tell you she doesn't want it. Do not take the bait. Force her hand. Require her to take the money. There are other methods to avoid paying your full legal obligation. But you MUST play the perfect courtier from the very beginning. Your end goal is to have a congruent story. If you want to argue philosophically about how it's immoral or whatever post on this site. In America It's like arguing with gravity. It makes you look like a fucking moron. My strategy was to just immediately give her the ground. No need for her to fight it. Why? Assume Formlessness. In the future she will try to hurt you. She will have learned a lot about what hurts you. You will never be hurt the way a pregnant woman can hurt you. She has so much power over you (due to the laws in this country) that you will break. A year later she is still using what she knows hurts me to try to hurt me now. Fortunately I Controlled the Options.
Week 2 Tell her that you're getting a paternity test through the courts. Not a walgreen's kit. She will understandably be outraged at the implication. Tell her early before you guys get to know each other and just say casually that you two are strangers. Ask her if she trust you 100% already. Tell her it's a legal requirement for setting up child support (half true). When I did this, it really wasn't that big of a deal.
Week 3-5ish Plan all the way to the end and Know who you are dealing with Pregnancy amplifies whatever is wrong with a girl. Obviously she is not a princess if she hooked up with a stranger. It should put a huge spotlights on her specific brand of crazy. Between September and October I knew her fairly well. I knew she wanted to be a "heroic single mom." I knew she had an avoidant attachment style. She was an insane control freak. She gave me faux options to manipulate me into thinking I had a choice in the matter. She told me before we knew the gender that my child would not have my last name and that there was nothing I could do about it. The anguish and pain that caused me could not be hidden. I told her that we were not in agreement on this issue but she told me that I would have to deal with it and tough shit. My brain said she was right, there was nothing I could do because I was powerless. Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power and than later Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber than your Mark In any dispute where you have no power you shouldn't argue with her, just state that you are not in agreement on this issue and drop it. You will pay an attorney to argue with her in the future.
6 months of hell I went to every doctor's appointment she invited me to. I did everything she wanted including signing a lease with her. It was her idea, but I saw how I could use it to my advantage. I think at this point she was trying to get me to say no to something so she could go tell everyone want a terrible dude I was. But my rationale was this: Best case scenario when she moves out after a year I could argue that child lives at that house and is off breast milk, emergency placement prior to court is usually the residence that the child knows best. Worst case scenario - I had signed a lease with a girl I wasn't even dating, that's how invested in my child's life I was. Make sure you can afford to pay for the entire rent yourself before signing the lease. MAKE SURE SHE SIGNS THE LEASE. My daughter's mom tried to get out of signing it. Nope, her name is on that shit. Which will prevent her from claiming you raped her.... but who would do that.
Last three months- Mom moved out due to me being a manipulative, uncaring, slob (her words). We had one fight while living together and nothing she said was true. She was just looking for a reason to move out. She refused to talk to me for the last three months of the pregnancy. I really think her issue is that she knew she wasn't controlling me. We didn't talk for three months.
In those three months I focused on Concentrating my Forces. I had told my daughter's mom that my parents were moving here to help us out. This has helped me so much in my fight to get visitation so far. My sister lives in town, my brother lives in town, and now both my parents were available at all times to baby sit. I also went lawyer shopping over the three month period. www.avvo.com I talked to five different lawyers.
I make this sound easy: I haven't mentioned about how my health declined due to stress. It was the worst when I signed the lease with her. Huge gamble unknown whether it was foolish or if it would pay off. My vision started changing every single day (Eye doctor tried saying I had type II diabetes), Bald spots appeared in my beard, blood pressure went into type II hypertension. I spent more on doctor bills in six months than my entire adult life. Hang in there man. Find a support group, coworkers, family members. Lean on people but remember that they want to see a success story. Females at work always love to hear about a father fighting to stay in their childrens' lives.
You have no rights Before the paternity test you have no rights. Zero. You must continue to use the surrender tactic. You are literally a random stranger to that kid. Do not sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. If you have a good lawyer he delivered the court order BEFORE your child was born to do a paternity test. I was the father by the way.
Mom Fights Back Oh man she will fight as if her life depends on it. Her maternal instinct to protect that child from people she doesn't trust/like is going to make her behave like a crazy person. She tried to fight the paternity test. She didn't let me see my daughter for three weeks over father's day and then acted like it was my own fault. Bite your tounge. You still have a ways to go. Do NOT fight with the mom. Ever. You arguing with Mom is a waste of breath. You pay an attorney to fight her. Win through your Actions, Never through Argument No matter what she did to me I didn't let it phase me. I made sure the courts knew what she did so that we could have a congruent case of her denying me visitations. The day I was declared the father through the paternity test Mom filed serious endangerment charges against me. At first she was alleging that I raped her. But that lease she signed with me destroyed that option. My attorney BCCed me on emails so I basically read his response as, "are you joking? This is a joke. She signed a lease with him." So she went with a whole shit ton of mud instead. None of it true. The courts MUST investigate so don't take it personally ($$$ $$ because of the Children $$$$). Play the perfect courtier. Remember you don't care about money, only about bonding with your child. My Attorney was 1500, the supervised visits cost me 1200$, the guardiam ad litem cost me 1400$. I never brought up that she filed this, never yelled at her for it. Just imagine you're playing chess. She made a move, it's your job to anticipate it and counter it. It's easy to counter.
Guardiam Ad Litem She is the only person you care to win over. Play the perfect courtier. Play the perfect courtier. Play the perfect courtier. The GAL relies on the supervisor that is watching you with your daughter. Treat the supervisor like an old friend. Listen to their stories of other "crazy" parents. Mom won't like the supervisor because she's not in control, someone else is in control. To the GAL, compliment Mom on her mothering abilities. Never trash talk her, don't ever say anything emotionally charged about her. Say you're only complaint is that she won't let you or your family see your daughter. Say you just want to be equals as parents. I remember distinctly saying, "four hours a week is just not enough, it's just not enough" to which she echo'd me. Mine had a questionnaire for me to fill out and I spent 8 hours writing and rewriting it until it was the perfect. I had painted a picture, that was true, whereby Mom has mud on her by the end and yet you never saw me throw anything and my hands remained clean.
By the next court date I had the Guadian Ad Litem telling me she was going to try to get me 50/50 joint custody. It helped me out a lot that I actually liked both the supervisor handling my case and the GAL. I knew immediately they would be able to see through Mom's ridiculous behavior if I just continued to maintain frame and play the perfect courtier. I could tell they were both good people. Your mileage may vary and you will get GAL who are in it for the money. My attorney went out of his way to get this GAL. I didn't do this at the time but absolutely research reviews online for the GAL. The GAL is actually more important than the attorney you get. Tell your attorney that you want a GAL who has a reputation for acting in the child's best interest. The supervisor handling my case also if you talk to her will gossip about the reputations of all the attorneys involved in your case.
False Allegations First the serious endangerment charges, next Mom will record every way that you're not doing a good job as a parent (in her mind). Yes it annoys you to have to answer to everything you do with your time but it's annoying the Guardian ad litem too. My favorite thing to say to the GAL is this, "She has never brought it up to me, if I'm doing something wrong I want to know. Why wouldn't she tell me?" Play the perfect courtier. When I won my first major battle I got the best false allegation of the year. Mom came over and tried to start a fight with me. She had nothing to go on and I have now never argued with her for 15 months. Why would I start now? Long story short she went postal while I remained calm. She started hitting my door, etc. She left and called the police. Police showed up to ask me some questions. The moment you prepare for finally happens (you are prepared for the police getting called on you when you start winning in court right?). I simply tell him I don't answer questions without an attorney. Bye bye sir. That was now 7 days ago and I've heard nothing from the police. This is where maintaining frame comes into play. It's so important, remember you're doing it for your child.
Assume Formlessness/Control the Options Mom wants to hurt me. But she never correctly figured out how. She thought the only option for hurting me was to deny me visitations but that's because I controlled her options. I put her in a position where her choices were to not attack me and let me visit my daughter and thus I win, or to attack me and (when I'm exonerated) it makes her look bad and thus I win. She had a lot of options to waste my money and give me tons of time with my daughter (when I was paying someone to supervise me). This would have made her look good and done a great deal of damage to me. She never did it because she didn't realize it would hurt me. From the beginning I acted like money was not a big deal and would constantly just spend it in front of her like I had an endless supply of it. I would tell stories that carried the message that IDGAF about money.
Present day By this point no one in court believes her anymore. I went into court thinking that she was going to get to file an order of protection but I think that even her own attorney must have advised against it. I had my first overnight with my daughter. This week. I'm confident that she tarnished her reputation and they see that she's just hyper controlling and will fabricate things about me to maintain that control. She doesn't know how to hurt me or control me (well controlling me would be easy, she just could try being nice to me). The best part is that soon I will have 50/50 custody which reduces my child support obligation (that thing I supposedly don't care about). My attorney says that he has gotten surname changed and that there is a good likelihood (depending on the judge) that this also will come about.
Guys you can win in court. It's hard and unfair and we're not used to being discriminated against so obnoxiously. We're not used to being guilty until proven innocent. I constantly let Mom think she's smarter than me. I play dumb constantly with her. I never engage her. I pretend like I don't know what's going on and that my attorney doesn't communicate with me very well. I pretend like it's no big deal that she says crazy stuff about me. I never ever ever ever gloat or rub it in or try to hurt her back. She's a child, you're an adult. If she knows what's going on in your brain the fight will never end. Moves and countermoves guys. It can be done. It will affect your health. I jumped out of an airplane and was so depressed I felt absolutely nothing. There were days I woke up where I did not think I could do it; I didn't think I had the stamina for this type of warfare. The toxicity from Mom was that intense. The odds seemed to be stacked against me to too great of a degree. You can do it if you must.
Edit: By the way, I forgot to mention this in the beginning but I really always "hoped for the best, plan for the worst" That was my strategy. If you read through all of this you'll really see that it's obvious. I genuinely hoped that Mom would figure out that I have my family in my best interest and that she could trust me. Every step of the way I gave her the option of doing the right thing with no repercussion. She just never took that option; I don't harp on it as it's probably never going to be relevant. But as you try to win the hearts and minds of others make sure that you emphasize how you hope for the best and what you're doing (saving for a safe car, signing a lease with a stranger to raise your child together, going to all doctors appointments, etc.)
2nd Edit: I should also mention this guide pertains to a non-substance abusing mother. This is about getting your rights from a mom with no real issues. I am so fortunate and happy that I don't have to worry about any actual harm going to my daughter. Like if you remind yourself how much worse things could be, it makes it easier to remain stoic in the face of America's court system.
3rd Edit: Some typos's etc. I have a paternity test guys. It's in the story. Yes, I'm intelligent. I am the type of guy that would never make a mistake. I was drunk and I honestly just fucked up. If it happened to me, it'll probably happen to other guys out there so I wrote this guide. If you don't want to be a part of your child's life than you don't really need a guide. Personally I couldn't leave my daughter to be raised without a father knowing everything I know about TRP.
No. Thank You TRP A lot of you guys are thanking me for writing this. I'd like to say instead thanks to all of you. The only, ONLY, reason I was prepared for all the false allegations, the toxicity, the back stabbery, the nonsense, the insanity, and the court system was you all and this community. Very few guys naturally would ever think the way I was forced to think. I was never flatfooted on ANYTHING she did because I was able to anticipate it months in advance (false rape allegations, domestic disputes with the police, etc) and thanks to you guys I knew how important maintaining frame was throughout all of this. So while many of you don't agree with everything I did or get focused on the one time in my life I had unprotected sex (with a stranger), I don't mind the criticism because I never said that this guide was the ONE way to do it. There is probably a better strategy. I did waste a lot of energy on things that were absolute wastes of time. I'll try to write updates in the future to talk about what happens with Mom through the years.